Sun | Dec 17, 2017

New FLA Board to be appointed real soon - Montague

Published:Thursday | August 24, 2017 | 11:04 PMJason Cross

"Soon soon" was the response National Security Minister Robert Montague gave to a group of journalists yesterday (Thursday) regarding the timeline for the appointment of a new board at the Firearms Licensing Authority.

The previous board resigned recently, amid allegations of corruption at the authority.

Montague was speaking at Harman Barracks in St Andrew, following the official handover of newly built dormitories for new Jamaica Constabulary Force recruits.

"The vetting is ongoing and we are not rushing the process. The (new) members will be made public very soon. ... This (FLA scandal) didn't happen overnight and that is why we commissioned the Allen Report about six months ago. What is happening now is the implementation of the report, but a new board will be put in place to drive the process," Montague said.

In giving an update as to whether some current firearm holders will lose their permits, Montague steered away from revealing the exact number of FLA files that have been investigated and red flagged.

"That is a matter for the investigators. MOCA was invited in by the former board that resigned, to investigate some 257 files that were red flagged. We will allow space and time for the agencies to do their jobs. We don't want to rush the process, but whatever is found will be acted upon," said Montague.

Montague further stated that the Government has instituted a policy to help reduce corruption among government workers and officials.

"The Government has a policy that 100 per cent of all recruits into all our agencies will be polygraphed, as well as persons who hold sensitive posts across government. That was a policy that was adopted about six months ago by Cabinet, called the private vetting policy. This is to ensure that we reduce instances of corruption within the system. You used to have 30 per cent rate of polygraphing recruits going into the army, into the corrections. Now it is 100 per cent polygraphing as well as background checks."

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com